Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney talks about city’s vaccination efforts

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney gave his weekly update on the city’s fight against COVID-19 at City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

He started by saying about 54 percent of Richmonders have received at least one shot of the vaccine. The mayor said 70 percent is his “moon shot” for the community — meaning it will be great if they get there, but even if not the city will still “land in the stars.”

These numbers aren’t too off of the state average. As of June 23, the Virginia Department of Health reported 58 percent of the state’s total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 70.1 percent of people 18 years and up had gotten one.

On that note, Stoney said the city will be ending Biden’s Month of Action with its own weekend of action. To kick it off they will be hosting an Richmond employee vaccination event at City Hall on Friday. Saturday, he said the Richmond City Health District will be touching every part of the city with mobile vaccination stations at local libraries.

“We’re making sure no matter where you live, how much money you have in your pocket, whether you don’t own a car, or whether you’re undocumented, or don’t have regular access to healthcare, you can still get vaccinated right here in the city of Richmond,” Stoney said.

Amy Popovich, Resource Center Program Manager at Richmond City Health District, said the district is also starting a new program called “Street to Street.” She said teams will be set up in three different spots along 25th Street from 2 to 3 p.m. on Friday, talking to local businesses, faith based organizations and local citizens. They will be offering outreach support and educational opportunities about the vaccine.

The following events are planned for the first “Street to Street” day:

  • 11:00am-1:00pm: Patrick Henry Park (E Broad St and N 25th St)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm: East End Library (1200 N 25th St)
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm: Vaccinations provided by Hope Pharmacy (1330 N 25th St)
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: Door to door vaccinations for local businesses (25th St) 
  • 3:00pm-5:00pm: RHHD’s Family Transition Coach office (1111 N 25th St) 

When asked if the city should be worried about the Delta coronavirus variant, Stoney said everyone should be. He said even though vaccinations are on the rise, people should still be careful and if they are not vaccinated, still wear a mask.

Popovich said the best way to protect yourself and prevent the spread of variants is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to the coronavirus update, Leonard Sledge, Richmond’s Economic Development Director, gave an update on the city’s progress with recruiting new investments to the city. He said the fiscal year 2021 started with the continuation of the city’s COVID-19 relief programs to help support businesses. More than $1.6 million were provided in grants to help support local businesses.

Sledge added the pandemic did not slow down the city’s economic growth and it acted on a number of opportunities this year, and there are many new jobs coming to the area. For example, Costar announced it will be leasing more property in the city, and there are new small businesses opening on Broad Street.

Watch the full press conference below:

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